The Prince (c. 1500) by Niccolo Machiavelli is a political treatise, sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning how to consider politics and ethics. Machiavelli dedicated The Prince to the ruling Medici of the time, leading some today to still speculate whether the book was a satire. Machiavelli asserted that The Prince (president, dictator, prime minister, etc.) does not have to be concerned with ethics, as long as their motivation is to protect the state. It is this questionable belief that in many ways had led to the modern world as we know it. His assertion was that the head of state must protect the state no matter the cost and no matter what rules he or she breaks in the process.